Channel telegraph cable laying, 1850

Channel telegraph cable laying, 1850

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Channel telegraph cable laying. First attempt to lay a telegraph cable across the English Channel from Dover to Calais, by the ships 'Goliath' and 'Widgeon'. This attempt was made on 28 August 1850. Goliath (centre) was escorted by HMS Widgeon. The cable broke soon after it was laid. A successful attempt to lay a telegraph cable was made the following year by British engineer Jacob Brett in September 1851. The cross-Channel cable allowed Britain to be connected to the European telegraph system. Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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